Golf – 1981 – Highlights – Legends Of Golf Tournament – Featuring Winners Gene Littler + Bob Rosburg

Gene Littler (July 21, 1930 – February 15, 2019) was an American professional golfer and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame…..who was known for a solid temperament and nicknamed “Gene the Machine” for his smooth rhythmical swing….as he once said that, “Golf is not a game of great shots. It’s a game of the best misses. The people who win make the smallest mistakes.”  One of Littler’s 29 PGA Tour wins was unique…..when he won the 1975 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am….which marked the first and (so far) only time that a player won that event as a professional after having previously won the pro-amateur portion….which Littler did as a 23-year-old amateur in 1954.  Littler received the Ben Hogan Award in 1973 for a courageous comeback from injury or illness….after returning to the tour following treatment for malignant melanoma.  Also in 1973, he was given the Bob Jones Award….which is the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s Littler played on the Senior PGA Tour….while winning eight times. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.  

Bob Rosburg (October 21, 1926 – May 14, 2009) was an American professional golfer who later became a sports color analyst for ABC television.  During his career, Rosburg was one of the most consistent top-10 finishers on the PGA Tour….as he won the Vardon Trophy in 1958 for the lowest average score (70.11) on tour that year.  Rosburg’s career year was 1959, when he finished seventh on the money list and was named to the Ryder Cup team….after winning the PGA Championship….and finishing second in the U.S. Open….then in 1969, he won the PGA Club Professional Championship.  He won a total of six tour events during the course of his career, before moving into semi-retirement after the 1972 season, his most successful financially. That year, he won the Bob Hope Desert Classic by one stroke over Lanny Wadkins.

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